Gov. Ducey picks Cheryl Lombard and Lisa Atkins to serve on Water Augmentation Council
Phoenix, AZ– Valley Partnership CEO/President Cheryl Lombard and Lisa Atkins, Arizona State Land Commissioner and Valley Partnership board member, have been appointed to the newly-formed Water Augmentation Council by Gov. Doug Ducey.
The council was identified as part of Gov. Ducey’s Water Initiative to ensure the certainty and vitality of Arizona’s future water supplies. The council includes water resources experts, watershed groups, local government and industry leaders in Arizona agriculture, mining, and homebuilding.
The council is tasked with investigating long-term water augmentation strategies, additional water conservation opportunities, and funding and infrastructure needs to help secure water supplies for Arizona’s future. The council will provide on an annual basis, a report to the governor that describes the activities and the recommendations of the council.
The council will also consider a communication plan for the state to accurately convey the status of Arizona’s water supply resiliency and its efforts to maintain that status moving forward. Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Thomas Buschatzke will serve as chairman. ADWR will provide staffing and technical support.
“Water issues are a top concern for all Arizonans. As a state, we have been prudent in water planning thus far, but need to ensure our water programs stay well-funded and we stay ahead of the curve on water conservation issues,” said Lombard. “We need to be prepared as the drought continues in the Western U.S. The formation of this council is just one of many steps the Governor is taking to ensure that preparedness. I’m honored by this appointment and look forward to working with the council to safeguard the future of Arizona’s water supply.”
Ms. Lombard brings a unique perspective to the council. Prior to her position with Valley Partnership, she was the Government Relations Director for The Nature Conservancy in Arizona. Her work in this role has given her significant experience working on pragmatic solutions to conservation challenges like that of Arizona’s water supply. In addition to her previous work with The Nature Conservancy, Ms. Lombard has also served as a member of the Department of Water Resources Director’s Advisory Group, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director’s Advisory Group and the Colorado River Advisory Commission for Arizona.
Arizona’s Water Initiative is based on and advances the activities identified in the 2014 Strategic Vision for Water Supply Sustainability Report, which identified key priorities, timelines and action items needed to maintain sustainable water supplies for Arizona’s future. In addition to the creation of the governor’s Water Augmentation Council, the Water Initiative includes a process to prioritize the 22 planning areas identified in the Strategic Vision Report, beginning with rural areas.